Trinity Episcopal Church May, 2012 Lawrence, Kansas
This issue of the Trinitarian is focusing on the many ministries that make Sunday
worship possible, and I was asked to talk about my role and responsibilities in that
regard. I suppose that, in light of the fact that so many people are so involved with
the process, my job is make sure that everyone has done their job. Thankfully this
is a very easy task on Sundays, because we are blessed with so many responsible
people here at Trinity.
a conversation, or a article I read, or just some random event synchronizes with the
readings for that week, and becomes the core of the sermon's message.
But failing that (or in addition to that) I ask myself what one or more of those
passages are saying to Trinity Church. After preaching pretty consistently for ten
years, I have usually written at least three sermons on that Sunday's lesson, but a
previous sermon at another parish isn't always appropriate for this parish. I ask
myself, what does Trinity today need to hear about these passages of Scripture?
And I will say, I do think of the parish as a whole -- just in case you sometimes
thought I might be singling out a particular parishioner (maybe yourself). I also
ask myself if that message resonates for someone who might have just walked into
Trinity for the first time. Maybe he or she is coming into a church for the first time
in their lives that day -- what do they need to hear, in what might be the only
sermon to which they are exposed? It's a balancing act that all preachers need to
walk: writing to the people they know are going to be there in addition to the
people who might be there. This is important, because if we as a church don't
anticipate the newcomer, we will never have any.
But if there is one significant
personal contribution to the Sunday
worship, it is the preaching of the
sermon. It's a fairly well-known fact
that I don't write my sermons down
beforehand, and haven't for many
years. But this doesn't mean that I
don't know what I'm going to say
before I step into the pulpit! The
creation process of composing a
sermon begins for me first thing on
Monday morning, when I review the
readings for the upcoming Sunday.
Sometimes I have even begun
earlier because my preaching review
group works two weeks in advance.
But I am not looking for a sermon
topic right off the bat; instead I just
read the passages several times over
just to familiarize myself with them.
Then I wait. I wait and see what the
week brings to me. It's surprising
how often an offhanded comment in
Most importantly, however, I listen to God. There have been some nights where I
am laying in bed on Saturday and I hear a voice saying, You should talk about this instead, and I scrap the whole thing in favor of whatever new idea has occurred to me.
So that's an admittedly pretty vague description of the process. When approached
about the topic of what I do on Sunday, I have to admit my first thought was one of
appreciation for all the people who do so much to make things go smoothly, both
staff and volunteers. Having to make sure everything is in its place is pretty easy
when people contribute continually and responsibly to do their part. This
Trinitarian is a chance for us to both learn and appreciate all that hard work.
Dick Tracy, Rita Tracy, and Steve Segebrecht serve as Deacons to Trinity
Episcopal Church. The Deaconate is a full and equal order of ministry, especially
ordered to symbolize and enable Christ-like ministry to those often forgotten: the
hungry, the poor, the lonely, those persecuted, and all those living on the fringe of
society. A Deacon functions with the direction of the Rector, and is subject to the
oversight of the Bishop.
There are numerous liturgical responsibilities of a Deacon. In the Eucharist, the
Deacon may read the Gospel, may lead the prayers of the people, and may
Trinitys Dedicated Deacons
introduce the confession. A Deacon waits on the table, assists with others in the
administration of the Eucharistic elements, dismisses the people, and in general
acts as herald and attendant. A Deacon performs at the Eucharist each Sunday
morning, and in the principal liturgies on Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Maundy
Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, Easter, and at other times, as the Rector
wishes. Our Deacons take the Eucharistic elements to the sick and homebound,
particularly at Christmas and Easter.
Trinitys Deacons also assist from time to time at other liturgies in the Parish, such as Holy Matrimony and the Burial Office, if needed. In the absence of a Rector,
Deacons may also officiate at Baptisms, Holy Matrimony, or at Funerals,
following the Book of Common Prayer.
Deacons keep an intercession list to include the prayers of the people, and they
help organize the praying of the prayers of the people. Deacons help the Rector
enable, encourage, recognize, and support our Parishioners to perform the servant
ministry that each has been given through baptism.
Our Deacons meet regularly with the Rector to discuss the servant ministry of the
Parish and of the Deacons, as well as any pastoral matters. When problems arise
which affect the welfare and unity of the parish, our Deacons bring them to the
Rector, and shall follow his counsel and advice. Deacons keep in communication
with the Bishop about the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world, and about areas
in which our Parish might provide ministry to the world. Our Deacons work in the
world to proclaim the gospel through their work, their family relations, and though
their examples. Our Deacons strive to bring to the attention of Trinity the needs
and concerns of the world by being closely involved with the needy and others.
Trinitys Altar Guild
The Altar Guild prepares the chancel and the altar for each Sunday service. The
Guild consists of three teams, eight members each, who serve for the Sunday
morning services. A fourth, smaller team tends to the cleaning-up duties after the
Sunday Evening Solemn High Mass.
On Saturdays, members set out the Eucharistic Candles on the altar, the Missal
Stand, the Altar Book, the Gospel Book, and the Vested Communion Chalice.
Hymn numbers are posted in the Nave. The brass collection plates are polished.
The Cruets are filled with wine, and the Ciborium, with wafers. All of the candles
are filled with oil. Other items used in the service are the water pitcher, the lavabo
bowl, and the linen towel for washing the Celebrants hands. Other linens include the purificators (small towels which a chalice bearer uses to wipe the rim of the
chalice); and the corporal, a square cloth which the Celebrant places on the altar
beneath the wine and wafers.
On each Sunday, after an 8:00 a.m. Service, the Altar Guild prepares for the 10:30
a.m. Service. Chalices and Purificators are washed. Wafers and wine are set out.
The Eucharistic Candles are refilled with oil. After the last Service, all of the
materials used are cleaned as required, and stored in cabinets or the safe in the
Sacristy. Laundering the linens is a responsibility of the Altar Guild, and each
team has designated members who do this very necessary task each week.
Altar Guild Teams each serve four months over the course of a year. The Altar
Guild Coordinator coordinates the annual schedule, which runs from July to June
of the next year. The Altar Guild Teams each have a Captain, who draws up the
schedule for his/her assigned months.
The Altar Guild Coordinator meets monthly with Father Rob to discuss the
services coming up in the next two months in order to coordinate their special
needs. This information is then sent to the Captains. The Altar Guild Coordinator
procures the wine, wafers, candle oil, and cleaning supplies, and then oversees the
care of the vestments.
Two of the three Altar Guild Teams meet for a polishing session of the brass and
silver twice each year -- once on a Saturday morning in December (in preparation
for Christmas); and once in March (in preparation for Easter). Once each year, the
Guild gets together for fellowship and discussion of matters old and new. This
year, the annual meeting will be in September.
New members of the Altar Guild are needed, and always welcome. Training is
done by each Team Captain, a new member serves with a veteran. A manual with
instructions and illustrations of the duties is available as a training tool.
--Joan Ring, Altar Guild Coordinator
Trinitys Flower Guild
The Flower Guild currently has
five members who volunteer to
buy and arrange flowers for the
Altar each Sunday, except durin